How to Track Data Usage on Your Android Device

Avoid extra fees and extend your phone's battery life

If you don't have an unlimited data plan, it's essential to pay attention to your Android data usage to avoid costly overcharges. Android smartphones make it easy to track and manage your data consumption. Plus, there are many ways to cut down on your data usage without much inconvenience.

Instructions in this article apply to smartphones with Android 10, 9, 8, or 7.

How to Check Data Usage on Android

The features built into the Android settings are similar for all versions of the operating system. As long as you have a recent version of Android, the instructions below should get you information about your data use.

These directions should apply to any Android phone, including Samsung, Google, Huawei, and Xiaomi devices. Samsung smartphones may have slightly different menu options.

  1. Open the Settings app.

  2. Tap Connections.

  3. Tap Data usage.

    Tap Settings > Connections > Data usage on Android.
  4. Tap Mobile data usage.

  5. The top of the screen displays a visualization of your data usage for the current month (as determined by the billing cycle setting). Tap the date to see previous periods.

  6. Scroll down and tap any app to find out how much data it uses and control whether it can use mobile data, Wi-Fi, or both.

    Tap Mobile data usage, tap the date, and tap any app to see how much data it uses.
  7. Go back to the Data Usage screen and tap Billing cycle to set the date when your plan resets the monthly billing cycle.

  8. Go back to the Data Usage screen and tap Data saver.

  9. Tap the toggle switch to turn on Data saver.

    Tap Billing cycle or Data Saver and the toggle switch.

Depending on the carrier, phone manufacturer, and Android version, you may find some variations in the options presented. Some phones may have additional options for checking data usage.

Third-Party Apps for Tracking Data Usage

There are also third-party apps for monitoring data usage. The four majors carriers offer apps (myAT&T, T-Mobile My Account, Sprint Zone, and My Verizon Mobile) that sync with your account.

Other popular data management apps include My Data Manager and Data Usage. Each app can set up limits and alerts, and My Data Manager tracks data usage in shared or family plans and across multiple devices. Data Usage tracks Wi-Fi usage and predicts when you might go over your data allotment based on daily use. You can set daily, weekly, and monthly data limits too.

Tips for Reducing Your Data Usage

If you struggle to stay within your data plan, there are a few things you can do. While it's tempting to upgrade your monthly plan, that's not the only answer. Most carriers offer shared plans, so team up with your partner, a trusted friend, or family members to save some money.

Go to the data usage section of the smartphone settings to restrict background data on apps, either one-by-one or all at once. This way, apps don't consume data when you're not using the phone, although it may affect how they work. Another easy fix is to use Wi-Fi when you can, such as when you're at home or work.

Beware of unsecured Wi-Fi networks, such as those at coffee shops and other public locations, where your privacy could be compromised. If you use public Wi-Fi, invest in a hotspot device, like the Verizon MiFi.